Ford drive A new Ford patent for removable steering wheels and pedals in cars points to the carmakers vision for a future where a car can be both self-driving and also driven. The patent describes a steering wheel and pedals that can be removed by a driver and stored inside a niche in the car when not in use.
Many carmakers are working on autonomous vehicles, eager to get their brand on what they see as the next wave of transportation. But consumers, while enjoying some autonomous features such as self-parking, are still uncomfortable with a fully autonomous vehicle. Ford clearly recognizes this, addressing the idea that drivers may just feel more comfortable with a steering wheel, for example, in place even if one isn't necessary or if autonomous function has been turned off..
"Further, some vehicle owners may prefer the familiarity of being in a vehicle having a steering wheel, or a steering wheel may be needed to allow a vehicle occupant to assume control, even if the steering wheel is inactive in an autonomous mode," reads the patent.
As with any patent, the possibility that this feature may never be produced is possible. But it's existence points to the carmaker's mindset, understanding that while self-driving cars are likely a given for the future, easing some people into the new technology may be required.